Road matting can help to keep active work sites safe, by creating stable temporary roadways for use by construction vehicles until a permanent road surface is laid.
By laying road matting, you can give lifting equipment a solid base to work on, segregate foot traffic from vehicle flows and mark out safe routes across the site, for example avoiding low bridges and overhanging masonry, exposed trenches and other obstacles.
For inspiration on these and other safety practices, you can look to the UK’s public roads agency Highways England, which faces additional challenges as much of the work it carries out takes place on roads that are open to public use at the same time.
In its 70th year, the International Road Federation (IRF Global) named Highways England as the winner of its 2018 Global Road Safety Award, recognising the government-run organisation for its commitment to reducing road traffic injuries.
President and CEO of IRF Global C Patrick Sankey said: “The guidelines and contractor oversight practices established by Highways England to eradicate danger on road construction sites are widely praised for their results, and are an inspiration for road agencies worldwide.”
Richard Leonard, head of road safety, safety engineering and standards at Highways England, added: “We believe passionately in the safety of everyone using our roads and, although they are among the safest in the world, we are always working hard to improve them.
“We have a long-term goal that no-one should be harmed while travelling or working on our network and are working with others on innovative ideas to achieve that.”
This includes safety guidelines for telehandlers and other lifting equipment used on the road network, to ensure suitable crane mats are placed down to stabilise mobile lifting equipment where the weight needs to be distributed more evenly across the road surface.
While most construction sites across other industries are not open to the public while work is being carried out, road matting can protect the workforce against threats both above ground and hidden below the surface.
And on those sites where public access is required, for example because there is a legal right of way or there is no suitable alternative route in the interim, road matting can identify the safe and correct route to take across the site, further reducing the risk of injury.